Title

Women's Participation in Endurance Motorcycle Challenges

Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

American Culture Studies

First Advisor

Vikki Krane (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Ellen Berry (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Sarah Rainey (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Rebecca Mancuso

Abstract

This work examines women's participation in endurance motorcycle challenges, specifically the Hoka Hey motorcycle challenge, a multi-thousand mile turn-by-turn endurance event and lifestyle sport to raise awareness for the Lakota Sioux of Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Using ethnographic methods and creative non-fiction, the experiences of women challengers are folded between postmodern theoretical concepts. Building on work of sport, motorcycle, and feminist scholars, this work takes an interdisciplinary approach to viewing lifestyle sport. Using a feminist cultural studies lens the Hoka Hey emerges as a meaningful event, which not only empowers women but also supports gender non-conformity, builds community, creates instances of transgression, and breaks down binaries. By living a feminist ethic of care and participating in a heavily masculinized environment, women riders of the Hoka Hey challenge gender norms and stereotypes of motorcyclists. Using the Hoka Hey as a basis for understanding both motorcycling and sporting cultures, there is potential for reimagining sport in a rhizomatic model to effectively break down the hegemonic center of the sporting world.